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Time is of the essence when optimising web pages for search engine rankings and unfortunately we inhabit a society that wants everything last week, if not sooner, and woe betide you if it isn’t.
I used to be an engineer (toolmaker to be precise) and this was particularly true of that industry, where I’ve come across situations where it was those who’d never actually done the job and therefore lacked an understanding of its processes and the work that was needed to be carried out, that were the ones quoting the hours and deadlines that were impossible to fulfill.
The same can be said of the SEO industry where there is lack of client understanding that we are providing a service that can’t offer any guarantees with regards to what everybody seems to want, and that is a number one placing in Google. Nor can we yield that other holy grail of the business world of which I have just alluded to: Instantaneous results.
So with no guarantees and nothing to show for it for possibly six to twelve months (for high-value keywords at least), why would a business consider hiring an SEO?
Well firstly you have to consider why it is you actually want a website.
There are small to medium businesses all across the UK that are having websites built even as I speak, yet a vast majority won’t even consider as much as a basic degree of SEO services.
So I ask the question once again: What is the motivation behind having a website?
Well there are many reasons why a business might take it upon themselves to dip a tentative toe into what to some is a world of darkness, arcane rites, close to the knuckle activity, and confused voices murmuring their lost, hopeless laments from beyond a distant horizon cloaked in swirling fog – or as we know it better: The internet.
As with everything else there are the right reasons and there are the wrong reasons.
Starting with the wrong reasons, these can have a snowball effect upon each other until you find yourself stood at the foot of the mountain, about to be buried beneath half the snow in Switzerland. Therefore I shall try and keep it simple (a little like myself).
Doing it because everybody else is
This can be placed firmly at the door of “Keeping up with the Jones’s” or the playground culture of “if one does it, the others follow”.
Commissioning a website because you think it’s the ‘in-thing’ and a must-have if you wish to stay at the cutting edge of your industry is all well and good, but if that’s your only motivation then the chances are it'll be a short-term joy.
Certainly, you might have a beautifully designed and developed website to show off to your existing clients and possibly the mother-in-law the next time she's in town, but if you’ve not considered any long-term marketing plan for the website then unfortunately the chances are that they will be the only ones that will ever see it, and just how many units do you think you can shift in the direction of the mother-in-law before she digs her heals in and says no more?
A quick-fire way to make some easy cash
Since the dawn of Google’s Adsense (a scheme where webmasters can make revenue by displaying text, image and video advertisements upon their website) there have been websites popping up left, right, and centre across the internet with the sole intention of making fast money through minimum input. This frame of mind can also colour the reasons why many decide to have a website in the first place.
Some people think that the minute their website goes live there will be a line of new business beating a path to their front door. This once again tallies with the ‘instantaneous results’ brigade. If you’re going blindly into your internet adventure thinking it will increase your profits without any regards for the site’s upkeep or promotion, then once again you’ll be sadly disappointed…
See where I’m going with this? Do I need to spell it out any further? It basically all comes down to initial investment in design and development without consideration or budgeting for ongoing marketing and promotion… You get the gist.
I’m never one to dwell on the negativities of life (lies, lies, and more lies), so let’s list a few sound reasons for why a business should make the jump and implement a website.
You wish to target a particular market with maximum efficiency
With a website you can target specific areas of your business that you particularly wish to build upon, or maybe focus on aspects that aren’t doing as well as they could be. Of course, this would require search engine visibility and niche marketing, and the presence of mind to think about the long game and not just the short-term benefits.
You are serious about it being a long-term investment that’ll bring traffic into your website and open up new opportunities
The long game once again. As time goes by and a domain name ages, a website will garner long-term trust with regards to the search engines. If you are maintaining the upkeep of your website and actively promoting it, then you will start to see an increase in traffic as people who are searching for what it is that you provide find their way there through search engine referrals.
You realize there is no ‘magic bullet’ that will grant overnight success but are serious about marketing the site until a change is felt
With a website it’s always a case of perseverance. You have to try, try, try, and work at it to make it a success. Once the developer has handed ownership over, it’s only the beginning. The phones won’t start ringing immediately, nor will they ever if the site is left dormant and allowed to stagnate. Promises of a quick-fix solution are blatant lies that can get you banned from search indexes and should be ignored.
You are aware that the search engines in this day and age are not the sole source of internet traffic, and are willing to capitalize on other schemes that can prove to be just as effective
You must realize that it’s not good sense to place all your eggs in one basket. Spread yourself around to maximize traffic opportunities. Of course, don’t disregard the search engines entirely as they can be your greatest provider of targeted traffic, but give yourself a further foot-up by experimenting in various forms of social media and niche marketing.
Well I think I’m beginning to repeat myself here, but you get the drift. It’s about the long game. Promote and market a website like one would approach any other form of advertising for a business. With specific targets, aims, and goals.
And that also answers the question as to why a business should consider SEO. If you've accepted that you're in for the long-haul then it would be foolish not to implement search engine optimisation.
A website is about bringing your business to a whole new audience and capitalising on the opportunities that will arise from this.
Man alive! That was very nearly me with my serious head on. I must go and a have a lie down in a long, dark room.
If you've made it this far then you'll know I've listed some of the good and bad reasons for placing yourself within the binary palms of the world wide web. Please feel free to add any more you can think of.